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The power of social media

in B2B marketing

We all know that in a more connected world the way in which we interact with brands, or, more to the point, how brands gain our attention is changing.

Zoe Taylor Associate Director 03/05/2023
22% of businesses suggest that the reason they do not use social media is because it does not align with their brand identity and values

In our March 2023 edition of the Business Tracker (based on 1,009 UK businesses), we explored how businesses are using social media to their advantage, and the gains that businesses are making while using these platforms to connect with their key audiences.

65% of UK businesses agree that they risk falling behind their competitors if they are not active on social media. This rises to a significant 77% amongst medium & large businesses.

The number one use of social media is attracting new customers / lead generation (30%). Getting people to even see your brand is part of the fight for attention. But there is also the chance to listen to and directly engage, with three in 10 (29%) UK businesses also taking advantage of this – a valuable opportunity to hear unedited, unapologetic feedback about your brand.

Hard sales (via promoting and selling products / services; 28%), brand awareness (28%) and brand authenticity (25%) closely follow the two aforementioned uses, suggesting that businesses recognise that social media isn’t just a one-trick pony and has many core uses, particularly the unique opportunity it presents in terms of developing their brand.

Facebook is the most used platform to connect with audiences, from attraction and lead generation, to promoting brand authenticity and monitoring the activity of competitors.

It’s widely reported (outside of this research), that on average, people spend around 35 minutes per day on Facebook (with most of that being on a handheld device).

It’s a fairly small window to capture attention.

However, this is around a quarter of the time on average, that individuals spend on social platforms per day. An opportunity not to be missed!

Currently, it is reported by businesses that they are least likely to use social media to attract talent (17%). Is this a missed opportunity?

It’s one of many chances to plant a seed in the minds of the next generation of the workforce; the chance to make a good first impression. Not only this, but it’s a point to build connections with those that will go into the workforce and influence the perception of decision-makers and budget holders.

It’s certainly not a slice of the cake you want to miss out on.

64% of businesses agree that having a strong social media presence and brand helps set the best businesses apart. There’s strong agreement that a social media presence is important to capturing attention.

As the number of touch points for attracting new customers is growing, businesses need to keep up with this ever-growing trend of social media; it’s prevalence amongst the general population; and how platforms are being used.

Younger generations are growing with social media in their hands – and while there are many other issues we could discuss around the pitfalls of this – we have to remember that social media may have some powerful uses.

Those who are using and embedding social media into their everyday lives are the business leaders of tomorrow, building connections with them could prove a point of inspiration and give a positive direction for them to follow.

66% of UK businesses agree that those that do not use social media will struggle to reach a younger audience.

Six in ten UK businesses (63%) suggest that they will increase their presence on social media within the next year and that they will diversify their social media presence in the next 12 months (58%).

Is this to capture the younger audiences that are forever checking their phones?

Some suggest not, with 22% of businesses suggesting that the reason they do not use social media is because it does not align with their brand identity and values.

Could these one in five businesses have an impact on how social platforms market their products or services in the future?

While we have learned that well over half (58%) are looking to diversify their social media use in the next 12 months and we know that for B2B audiences the use of social media should complement other marketing activities, it’s a great place to educate, inform and raise brand awareness.

There is a potential to nurture prospects at a fairly high level, and likely, an entry touch point as a worthy contender for business talent of the future – as well as for those that are able to influence the decision makers with budgets to spend.

But the question remains: which platforms will businesses and consumers be using in the future and how closely do these align?

If you’d like to talk to us about our Business Tracker or our work in the Technology and Telecoms space, get in touch with our team at [email protected].

Savanta’s Business Tracker

Our monthly Business Tracker monitors the recovery, resilience and adaption of UK businesses.

It’s an ideal solution if you need to understand the latest pressures and challenges impacting UK businesses (tracked on a regular basis); or if you have a couple of quick questions you need answered, our monthly tracker provides a timely and cost-effective solution!

Click here to find out more.

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